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Free Study Guide-Great Expectations by Charles Dickens-Free BookNotes
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CHAPTER SUMMARY AND NOTES

CHAPTERS 43 - 44

Summary

Pip decides to visit Estella one last time before going into hiding with Magwitch. He discovers she has gone to Satis House so he follows. He discovers Drummle at the Blue Boar and the two argue over Estella. Drummle says the two have being seeing quite a lot of one another. Pip goes to Satis House and confronts Miss Havisham, telling her he has discovered the identity of his real benefactor. Miss Havisham is indifferent, claiming she never had an obligation to let him know it was not she. He then turns to Estella and tells her he has always loved her. She tells him she is marrying Drummle. Pip tries to dissuade her, pleading with her not to let Miss Havisham ruin her life. But Estella is resolute; she says she wants to marry him.

Broken-hearted, Pip sets out to return home. On the way he receives a note from Wemmick warning him not to go home.

Notes

Pip redeems himself in this chapter by first of all exhibiting calm self-control with Miss Havisham. Rather than exploding in anger with her over her mistreatment, he thinks of Herbert and secures Miss Havisham's help in maintaining Herbert's station in the firm. Pip explains he can no longer support his friend financially, since he will not accept Magwitch's money.


Further, he makes himself entirely vulnerable to Estella by pouring out his heart to her. He tells her of his devotion to her and begs her to love him. But Estella tells Pip she has no love in her heart for him. Even Miss Havisham is moved to regret the way she has trained Estella.

CHAPTERS 45 - 46

Summary

Pip stays that night in a hotel and goes to visit Wemmick the following day to ask about the warning. Wemmick explains that Pip is being watched and that he fears for the young man's life. As well, he suspects Compeyson is involved. Pip and Herbert decide to move Magwitch to a remote corner by the river. Magwitch changes his name to Mr. Campbell. Pip and Herbert plan to buy a boat and practice rowing for hours, in order to facilitate Magwitch's escape. Pip begins to sell things in order to survive, rather than use the money Magwitch has given him.

Notes

These chapters are primarily suspense building. The pressure builds as Pip is threatened and watched. Magwitch is moved again and his name changed. The fear of eminent danger moves the read along at a fairly rapid pace.

CHAPTER 47

Summary

Pip goes to watch Mr. Wopsle's performance. After the play, Mr. Wopsle informs Pip that the convict that was mauled on Christmas Day so many years ago was sitting behind him during the play. Pip suspects it is Compeyson.

Notes

Pip quickly writes to Wemmick for advice, showing that the relationship between the clerk and the boy is a remarkable one. Wemmick knows Pip is trying to save his patron, but he never speaks of it directly. Instead, he extends his practical advice and support whenever required, in the most efficient and businesslike manner.

CHAPTER 48

Summary

Pip dines with Jaggers and Wemmick. Jaggers delivers a message to Pip from Miss Havisham that she would like to see him.

Watching Molly closely, Pip is reminded of Estella. Wemmick narrates Molly's story to Pip. She was guilty of murder and was acquitted by Mr. Jaggers in a case that made him famous. She later had a baby girl. After she was acquitted of murder, she came to work for Mr. Jaggers and has remained in her services ever since.

Notes

Pip begins to suspect that Estella is Molly's child because of their similarities and because of the coincidences in their plights. The irony is that Pip has always sought to be uncommon for Estella; in reality, she is not far removed from the low life of crime. Pip has been completely betrayed by his own aspirations.

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